A love story that may turn into a bit of a slog Discuss this article

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Coming from Wim Wenders, director of Paris, Texas (1984) and Until the End of the World (1991), we can be sure to expect this film to be a moody and slow feature with a lot of subtext and layered meanings. That’s not a bad thing at all, but sometimes the line between meaningful and endlessly dull can get blurred – and Submergence seems to be leaning towards the latter.

James McAvoy plays, well, James, an MI6 agent who poses as a water engineer to infiltrate an Al Qaeda enclave in Somalia, while Alicia Vikander is Danielle, a bio-mathematician who’s in the midst of exploring life beneath the sea at its deepest, darkest levels. Over a holiday, these two meet and submerge in love (sorry).

Eventually, James is rumbled, captured and locked up. Meanwhile, Danielle prepares to dive to the ocean floor (the movie’s literal submergence).

There’s a lot of multi-layering throughout the film about the depths each must go to (the metaphorical submergence) to ultimately reunite. That’s all well and good, but knowing that there will be metaphors thrown all over the place before the movie even starts won’t be for everyone.

With McAvoy and Vikander on board, we only hope their talents won’t be wasted.

The bottom line
A love story that may turn into a bit of a slog.

By Darragh Murphy
Time Out Doha,


  • Duration: 112
  • Released: Thu, 26 Apr
  • Language: English
  • Director: Wim Wenders
  • Stars: Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy, Alexander Siddig

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